Last week, we discussed the importance of estate planning if you have minor children or dependents. An estate plan helps you put guardianships in place for those dependents, so you ensure that loved ones are taken care of in the future by people you trust. Here are seven more reasons to get started on estate planning today.
If you have a large estate -- especially if assets span multiple states -- probate proceedings absent an estate plan could last for years. Lengthy probate is not only costly, but it can delay much needed assets from being distributed to heirs. A second reason for estate planning is privacy. The probate process lays many of your financial details open to the public; certain estate tools can help you keep that from happening.
Individuals who want to ensure some or all of their assets go to charity need an estate plan. Estate vehicles, such as trusts, let you ensure money is donated or handled as you dictate. A fourth reason for estate planning is business ownership. Estate planning helps you cement succession planning, protecting your business and any employees during a transition should you pass away.
A fifth reason to start estate planning today is that you are in a later stage of life and you haven't done so yet. Although aging makes estate planning more critical, it's a good idea to have a will at any time in your life. Special family circumstances, including split family situations are a sixth reason to create an estate plan. Courts aren't always equipped to equitably distribute assets to complex families without an estate plan.
Finally, a seventh reason for starting the estate planning process today is peace of mind. It's not something anyone wants to dwell on, but by planning now, you can live life without worrying about these details in the future.
Source: Forbes, "Do You Need An Estate Plan?," Jan. 14, 2016